You set an iPhone alarm (perhaps two) and reserved your Healthy Living Summit the second they went on sale. If you’re traveling from far away lands–like, say, New Jersey– you’ve secured a plane or train ticket, or started charting your road trip.
Once you’ve landed in Boston, though… you’re feeling clueless.
Not to worry. We’ve got you (mostly) covered.
Whether you’re flying into Logan International Airport or taking an Amtrak train to Boston’s South Station or Back Bay Station, you have several options for getting to the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge.
- A taxi will likely be your easiest, fastest and most direct option. It will also likely be the most expensive. I recommend tweeting and facebooking your fellow HLS attendees in advance, and share a cab with one or two people who will be arriving at Logan around the same time as you. [FYI: HLB has set up an "HLS Arrival" spreadsheet for us to connect with other attendees ahead of time!] I live nearby and usually spend between $20-25 coming from the airport. One word of advice: direct messages are your friend. Take caution before broadcasting your whereabouts to the entire internet. Safety first, fun second.
- The T provides inexpensive service from the airport, as well as a taste of Boston. The MBTA website provides step-by-step directions for taking public transportation throughout Boston and surrounding communities. If you find yourself staring at the T map (more on this below), unsure of which way to go, ask an MBTA official, or friendly stranger. We may seem
rude and aloofbusy, but most Bostonians are quite lovely and eager to help.
- The T is currently offering free silver line bus service from Logan Airport to Boston’s South Station (click here for more info), where you can easily take a red line train (towards Alewife) to the Kendall T-stop (the stop nearest to the hotel). From there, the Hyatt Regency provides courtesy transportation from the Kendall T stop. A call ahead to the hotel to confirm their pickup schedule might help. You could also take a taxi, or walk the 1.3 miles along the Charles River (likely easier on the way to the hotel, without a massive bag of swag).
- A third option is Uber, the on-demand black car service offered in Boston and several other US cities. They are a bit pricier than cabs, but provide excellent service and can be requested from anywhere, anytime, via their iPhone and Andriod apps or by text message.
What the heck is the T, you ask? It’s short for the MBTA, which is short for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. To call it a subway isn’t quite accurate, as many trains run above ground and below, and the system also encompasses buses, boats and the commuter rail. It’s not the most easy to understand system, but like most things in and around Boston, that’s part of the charm.
For those unable to ride the T due to a physical, cognative or mental disability, the RIDE (a door-to-door, shared ride service provided by the MBTA) is available to get you from one place to the next. For more information on rates, or to make a reservation, visitors are encouraged to call (800) 533-6282 in-state toll free or (617) 222-5123 or TTY (617) 222-5415.
Where does it go?
The T covers most of our city, as well as surrounding communities, including Cambridge. As you will see above, subway or train routes are color-coded (I live for color coding).
Once you know which color line you need, it helps to know which direction you are heading in, and what the final stop in that direction is. For example, when heading to the Kendall stop, you are heading towards Alewife (and therefore, away from Ashmont and Braintree). This will help when figuring out which side of the platform to be on. If you end up on the wrong train, please don’t panic. You can often hop off at the next stop and easily switch trains.
- All MBTA stops are visible on Google maps, and many restaurant and tourist attractions will provide MBTA directions on their websites. Most neighborhoods have centrally located stations, which make for a great starting point for exploring (Harvard Square, Central Square, Park Street/Boston Common/Beacon Hill, Goverment Center/Fanueil Hall/North End, etc.). Another word of advice (sorry, I watch a lot of cop shows): Don’t set off on your own, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area. Travel in pairs. If you have a question about a specific neighborhood, feel free to find a Bostonian in attendance. I heard there will be plenty of us.
- Wondering how soon your train or bus will arrive? Not sure which stop is yours? There are apps for that.
How much does it cost?
- Each ride on the subway/trains will cost you $2.50
- Bus trips are $2.00
- Boat and commuter rail trips vary by zone/destination
Charlie tickets, which are used for payment, are available at every station, through an electronic vending machine. While each ride costs $2-2.50, you may want to consider adding a certain amount at the beginning of your visit to the city, to avoid having to add money multiple times. You can add value to existing tickets, so I recommend holding onto yours.
– Elizabeth, On Tap for Today
Whether you’re traveling by land, air, sea, we are so looking forward to seeing you all in just a month (can you believe it?). I wish you a very safe and happy journey to Boston Cambridge, and encourage you to get in touch with me (@ElizabethEv or firstname.lastname@example.org) if I can be helpful in any way.